2014 Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year Finalists Announced
Beilein, Bennett, Brown, Donovan, and Marshall seek prestigious award
BEILEIN, BENNETT, BROWN, DONOVAN AND MARSHALL NAMED 2014 NAISMITH MEN’S COLLEGE COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD FINALISTS
Winner to be announced at Naismith Awards Reception April 6 in Dallas
ATLANTA (March 20, 2014) – Gregg Marshall, head coach of the undefeated Wichita State Shockers, is among five finalists for the 2014 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. He is joined by Michigan coach John Beilein, Virginia coach Tony Bennett, SMU coach Larry Brown and Florida Coach Billy Donovan. Bennett (Washington State, 2007) and Brown (Kansas, 1988) are former winners of this award.
The finalists were determined by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based its criteria on the coaches’ performances to this point in the 2013-14 men’s college basketball season. The Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year will be announced and honored on April 6, 2014 in Dallas.
ABOUT THE FINALISTS:
John Beilein, University of Michigan: Beilein guided the Wolverines to a 25-8 record, his fifth 20-plus win season, and fourth straight, in seven years at U-M. Michigan won its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years, claiming the conference by three games. This season, U-M recorded wins over three straight top-10 opponents for the first time in school history, despite losing Tim Hardaway Jr. and 2013 Naismith Trophy winner Trey Burke to the NBA. U-M earned its first No. 1 seed at the Big Ten Tournament and reached the championship game for the first time since the inaugural event in 1998. Beilein was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year by the media.
Tony Bennett, University of Virginia: After leading the Virginia men’s basketball team to its sixth ACC regular-season title (2nd outright) with a program-best and conference record-tying record 16-2 mark (28-6 overall), Bennett was named the league’s coach of the year by fellow coaches and media members who cover the conference. The Cavaliers won its first ACC Tournament title since 1976 and secured its fourth No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed and first since 1983. Virginia leads the nation in scoring defense at 55.3 ppg. The Cavaliers also set a school record by winning 12 ACC games by 10 or more points.
Larry Brown, SMU: In his second season at SMU, Brown has led the Mustangs to a 24-9 record, having reached the 20-win mark for the 10th time in program history. They have 24 wins for the first time since the 1987-88 season. The team has garnered its first ranking since the 1984-85 season and has four wins over ranked opponents for the first time since 1955-56. A total of 12 conference wins highlight the Ponies’ record for the first time since the 1992-93 Southwest Conference season. SMU also has a +9 win improvement from last year to this year, after finishing the 2012-13 campaign at 15-17.
Billy Donovan, University of Florida: Currently 32-2, Donovan has the Gators riding a 26-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. Under Donovan’s tutelage, Florida captured both the SEC regular season and tournament championships, while going undefeated in conference play (18-0). Donovan was named the SEC Coach of the year for the second straight season and his third overall (2011, 2013, 2014). The Gators have now made the NCAA tournament five consecutive years and the Elite Eight the past three.
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State University: Marshall led the Shockers to both a Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season and tournament championship. Wichita State will enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed in the Midwest region with a record of 34-0. The Shockers set an NCAA record by winning 31 regular-season games and are the first team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated since 1991. Marshall won his third straight MVC Coach of the Year award, which has only happened one other time in the conference’s history.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boy’s and Girl’s high school basketball players and coaches of the year, high school scholar-athletes, basketball officials, student sections and overall contributors to the game. The Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.